Stop wasting valuable time. Never dress up to impress the bank for a loan ever again! David Haber co-founded Bond Street to disrupt the American banking system by enabling online loans with low interest rates. Buckle up small businesses, we are taking you to the big league.
In the words of ABBA, money, money, money in a rich man’s world, doesn't need to be exclusive to only those approved by traditional banks. Given the increase in small businesses over the past seven years, we hear of more cases in which profitable companies are rejected for bank loans. Similarly, they are unable to obtain the ever-so-famous “investment funding” due to not meeting the traditional, old school status quo. To save the day and encourage small business growth in the U.S., David Haber created Bond Street.
“There are over 7,000 banks in the U.S. and yet you still can’t apply for a loan online!”
The way we buy groceries, shop for clothing and heck even pick a date has changed dramatically over the course of ten years, thanks to the digital wave and technology. But, the banking system seems to be following the same rules and regulations when it comes to applying for a business loan. You can’t apply for a loan online. For those who have never applied, the process goes like this: you dress up all snazzy, walk into a bank with all of your proper documentation that needs to be printed out. You give the heap stack of papers to the clerk, who doesn't know anything about you. He faxes it to Texas and tells you that a decision will be made in four weeks. News flash: the decision is usually “No!” Then, you cry. “This is a really shitty experience that hasn’t changed since decades.”
“A lot of the customers I was seeing were making millions of dollars in revenues. Maybe they didn't check every box at the bank, but to me, naively, it didn't make sense. Why shouldn't there be a product or business that can solve that middle gap? That is where we have always positioned ourselves.”
We already have a whole ecosystem of companies that collect data online regarding accounting, payments and invoicing. It was a matter of filling in the dots. “The genesis for creating Bond Street was to use the data from these technologies to create a better customer experience.” Bond Street makes capital available to a broader community of small businesses. Their USP? Time and convenience. It only takes 48 hours to get approved for a loan up to $500,000 with interest rates starting at 6%. Since nothing is for free, the payback duration ranges from one to three years. Fun fact: their clients include Cafe Grumpy and Tuft & Needle among many.
“The biggest mistake we made as a company: we ran out of money for about three months, right when we were seeing all of these amazing companies knock on our door and we couldn’t fund them.”
Bond Street’s business model lives and dies according to risk assessment. As a result, they convinced Jerry Weiss, a senior Citi Bank Risk Manager, to join their team in the early days. “We realized we needed to raise much larger institutional capital and spend a lot of time talking to investment banks, hedge funds, and private equity firms. We had a limited track record at that time, but we ended up raising $100MM in lending capital for the business."
The Good Ol Days
A Harvard University graduate with a degree in Biochemistry, David was not your typical financier. In high school, “I was involved in a bunch of different stuff. Class President, Student Council as well as running my side hustle business, Haber LLC, to make gas money. I went to a very big public school and being on the student government, convinced the school to let me bring a Taco guy to campus for football games. He crushed it. I made both him and the student government a bunch of money!” Looking back, we can see how David has had a passion for finding local business owners and helping them grow their ventures.
David has consistently surrounded himself with an entrepreneurial group of friends dating back to college. These include the founders of AirBnb, Thrive, and Oscar to name a few. “For me, it's always been easy coming up with business ideas, but it's been hard to figure out what to pursue.” David worked with Spark Capital in Boston for two years. “It was a great opportunity. I got to sit in on every partner meeting, at every investor meeting and every pitch as well as see behind the scenes work–the logistics of actually running a venture fund.” This got him thinking about a technology enabled financial company that he pondered on for four years. Alas, Bond Street was formed in October 2013, shortly after David got married to his wife, best friend, and the woman who helped expand his connections, Julia. “We didn't make our first loan until June 2014 and raised our first seed capital from friends and VC’s in January, 2014.”
Ever heard or Rory Riggs? You know, the guy who took Genzyme public, started the largest billboard company in Japan and much much more. Well, he was David’s mentor. “I was helping him out with a science experiment during one summer at college, and he ended up being a big influence on the way I thought about business.” David ended up working with Rory for two years after graduation. “When other people ask me what they should be doing after school, I always say you should definitely not be optimizing for cash compensation. You should be optimizing to work for people you admire and can learn from.”
RADICHE GUIDE on building a strong business foundation:
- Recognize that everything takes longer than you would think.
- Push through failure and learn to deal with it quickly.
- Be patient around hiring. This will have a huge impact on your corporate culture.
- If you’re in a highly regulated industry, hire someone with a lot of experience to help navigate you.
- The magic happens when you stick people in different fields together.
Seeking financial advice or capital to grow your business? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll put you in touch with Bond Street.
Photo courtesy of Bond Street.